President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. sent a clear message to employers this week when he fired the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel within hours of taking the Oath of Office, as well as the acting General Counsel the following day. On Inauguration Day, President Biden terminated General Counsel Peter Robb from General Counsel’s role and the following day fired Alice B. Stock, who was then the Acting General Counsel. The President then named the new Chair of the Board, Lauren McFerran, the sole Democratic Member on the Board.
In addition to the staffing changes, the new President has also provided insight into his planned Labor Agenda. President Biden says he will:
- aggressively push through the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, making company executives liable for interfering with organizing activity,
- ban captive audience meetings,
- reinstate the “Persuader Rule”, and
- pursue employers that misclassify employees as independent contractors and ensure federal dollars are not provided to companies that engage in “union-busting” activities, wage theft, or that violate labor laws.
The President is also expected to restore the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and ensure that federal contracts are only awarded to those employers who sign neutrality agreements and pay at least $15/hour as minimum wage. The President has indicated he will ban state laws that prohibit unions from collecting dues or comparable payments from workers the unions are legally obligated to represent but who are not members. Finally, he intends to create a Cabinet-level working group to focus solely on promoting union organizing efforts and collective bargaining in both the private and public sectors. This group is expected to deliver plans to increase union membership and address economic inequality within the President’s first 100 days.
Employers Council’s Labor Relations experts will remain focused on identifying those changes in employment and labor laws and regulations that affect Members with unions and those without. Should you have questions about the new Administration’s plans, please give us a call.